Baculus is a clear plastic backpack with wheels, a telescoping antennae/flag, a wifi access point, small computer, gps transceiver, software defined radio, and battery. The platform provides ad-hoc, self organizing wifi networking, by working together with the humans who use it.
By default, two mobile-first web and sms based applications run on baculus, to facilitate communication—a message board, and map check-in tool. We will share baculus with community leaders well before any possible disaster scenario. This allows for members to become comfortable adapting the system to their needs, so when disaster strikes, it is a natural response to use the network.
One key differentiator is what happens when existing mesh links go down. For this, we are using a self-repairing process where the boxes contain a physical wifi-divining rod that asks humans for help, by showing them which direction to bring the device to connect to the rest of the network.